Rep. Maloney Announces $4.5 Million in Federal Grants for LaGuardia Community College

Oct 29, 2007
Press Release

Queens, NY – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-Queens, Manhattan) and U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer announced today that LaGuardia Community College, a nationally renowned college located in Queens, New York was awarded three highly competitive grants totaling over $4.5 million from the U.S. Department of Education to build upon and further develop their award-winning teaching innovations.  The largest award--a $2.7 million Title V grant--will enable the college to strengthen instruction, assessment and student advisement.  Another $1.25 million, 5-year award from the Veterans Upward Bound Program supports expansion of the college's services for veterans.  The third $620,000 award from the Fund for the Improvement of Post-Secondary Education (FIPSE) will enable LaGuardia-an innovator in the use of electronic portfolios (ePortfolios)--to help other colleges to use ePortfolios to enhance learning and assess their students' growth.

"Community colleges play a significant role in educating our country's workforce and providing a ladder to the middle class for New Americans and Americans living in poverty," commented Congresswoman Maloney.  "LaGuardia will be able to help many more New Yorkers even more effectively because of these grants, and show other colleges across the country how to educate the most challenging students."

"These grants are a well-deserved recognition of LaGuardia Community College's remarkable success as a learning institution whose diverse student body and dedication to remaining at the forefront of educational advancements have made it a top destination for higher education," said Senator Schumer.  "In awarding LaGuardia three highly competitive grants within a month, the Department of Education has duly recognized the college as a national educational leader."

Named one of the three best large community colleges in the U.S., LaGuardia educates more than 54,000 students annually.  Two out of three of its degree-seeking students are New Americans, and 80% require help with basic skills-English language, reading, writing and/or math-when they enroll.  Despite these challenges, LaGuardia's graduation rate is 60% higher than the national average for community colleges.

LaGuardia was one of only two colleges in New York State to receive a grant from Title V, which funds and supports Hispanic Serving Institutions across the nation.  The grant will enable LaGuardia to develop and implement new teaching methods and curricula designed to strengthen the second year of the community college experience, ensuring that Hispanic, minority and low-income students are prepared for graduation, transfer to Baccalaureate colleges and promising careers.  The program will build on the innovations of LaGuardia's nationally recognized first-year program, and its success launching thousands of students' in building ePortfolios.

The award from the Veterans Upward Bound Program and other veterans grants that the college has recently received will enable LaGuardia to offer veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan comprehensive educational services--GED classes, college preparatory classes, career counseling and more-so they can resume civilian life successfully and have a secure future. Counselors will also assist veterans in the college enrollment process, provide classes that will prepare them for their college entrance exams, and help veterans to understand and take advantage of their educational benefits.  Veterans are encouraged to call LaGuardia Veterans Center at 718-482-5386 to access services.

For the prestigious FIPSE grant, LaGuardia was one of only 15 successful applicants from hundreds of candidates nationwide. The grant will enable LaGuardia to build on the success of its work with ePortfolios, which are collections of student essays, course assignments, fine art projects and resumes selected by students, and then presented on their websites.  LaGuardia will guide faculty on other campuses who want to use ePortfolio to enhance learning, assessment and transfer. The list of colleges already expressing interest in LaGuardia's program includes Syracuse, Adelphi, and New York University, as well as Hunter, Baruch, and Brooklyn College.

"I want to thank Senator Schumer and Congresswoman Maloney, as well as Senator Clinton and Congressman Joe Crowley.  Our Congressional delegation strongly supported LaGuardia's efforts," said Gail O. Mellow, President of LaGuardia Community College.  "These grants give LaGuardia the resources to be even more successful in educating our primarily immigrant, low-income student body.  The funding will certainly benefit our students and support our faculty in developing innovative teaching methods."

"LaGuardia is a unique higher education institution.  It welcomes students with incredibly diverse backgrounds," said Congressman Crowley.  "With $1.25 million for veterans' services, LaGuardia will be able to do what it does so well-helping our returning servicemen and women climb the educational ladder to long-term success."

Located in Long Island City, Queens in New York City, LaGuardia Community College, part of the City University of New York, is a nationally recognized leader among community colleges. Founded in 1971, LaGuardia Community College has been recognized as an innovator in educating students who are underprepared for college work and/or are not primary English speakers. Its tradition of academic excellence has opened doors for its students to prestigious four-year colleges and satisfying careers. To learn about LaGuardia Community College, please go to www.laguardia.edu .

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